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Colours Monochrome

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:07 am
by William
Here is the first development stage of a new special purpose font.

In the thread viewtopic.php?t=1969 I mentioned the following.
I have been studying again the Petra Sancta method of expressing colours in monochrome. The Petra Sancta method dates from the Seventeenth Century as a method for depicting colours on armorial bearings in black and white books on heraldry. It uses vertical line shading for red, horizontal line shading for blue, upper left to lower right diagonal shading for green, lower left to upper right diagonal shading for purple, a dotted fill for yellow or gold.

I have previously used such shadings for authoring-time glyphs for colour in my Quest text font.

Recently I have been thinking of making a font to assist art experiments where the monochrome glyphs representing colours use the Petra Sancta shadings yet in such a manner that the relative percentages of black and white in a glyph is proportional to the grey scale luminance of the colour represented by that glyph. Thus the glyph for blue would be about 90% black with contours of horizontal lines, the glyph for red would be about 70% black with contours of vertical lines, the glyph for green would be about 41% black with contours of upper left to lower right diagonals, the glyph for yellow would be about 11% black with contours of dots. The font could then be used to produce pictures. I am also thinking of having a wider choice of glyphs so that other colours could be represented in monochrome.
I have now started that font.

At present there are glyphs as follows.

b blue
g green
m magenta
o orange, though the design may be changed later
r red
y yellow
w white

The space is also usable.

The font also has an unmapped glyph showing an earlier design for orange.

The idea is to use the font to produce blocks of graphics.

For example, for green.


For example, for magenta.


Please note that the glyph for magenta has more black than does the glyph for green. This is because magenta shows darker in monochrome than does green.

Some readers might like to try comparing the quantity of black in the glyph for blue with the quantity of black in the glyph for yellow.

William Overington

3 December 2007